Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini insists there is no chance of his team underestimating Cardiff today.
City made an impressive start to their Barclays Premier League campaign with a 4-0 thrashing of Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium on Monday.
They will hope to continue in much the same vein as they take on the promoted Bluebirds at the Cardiff City Stadium, but Pellegrini is taking nothing for granted.
The occasion will be a big one for Cardiff, the match being their first at home in the top flight for 51 years, and they will need little motivation as they seek their first win of the season.
Dismissing any prospect of complacency, Pellegrini said: “We are not going to make that mistake.
“We know Cardiff are a very difficult team. We know they are at home and are in the first season.
“We will need to play an excellent game without errors to get another three points.”
But Cardiff are warned that Pellegrini has no plans to change the approach that proved so effective against Newcastle.
City overran the Magpies with a high-tempo, attack-minded game from the outset, indicating clearly that new manager Pellegrini’s input has already had an effect.
Pellegrini said: “We are trying to play everywhere the way I think is better for us.
“We played a very good game in the way I want this team to play.
“It is not only because we scored four goals and we had a clean sheet, but in the way we played – we are a very aggressive team – that is very important to me.
“It is just the beginning but it was a very good start.”
Pellegrini is convinced he can cope without captain Vincent Kompany – even though he has not ruled out signing a new defender.
The influential Kompany faces a month on the sidelines after suffering a groin injury in Monday’s Barclays Premier League win over Newcastle.
It is another setback for the 27-year-old Belgian, whose two-month absence at a critical stage of last season proved damaging to City’s title chances.
Pellegrini said: “Of course, he is very important to us, Vincent Kompany, but we can do nothing about it. We try to do the best we can.
“I would prefer the doctor to say the last word, how many weeks, but he is injured I think for at least one month.”
If Kompany is out for as long as feared, he would miss today’s trip to Cardiff, next week’s clash with Hull and the game at Stoke after the next international break.
He could come back into contention for the derby against Manchester United on September 22.
News of his condition will also be a concern to Belgium, who play an important World Cup qualifier in Scotland next month.
With Micah Richards also injured, Pellegrini is hoping Matija Nastasic will be fit to return in Kompany’s place at Cardiff.
The Serbian was expected to miss the first month of the season with an ankle injury but returned to training this week.
If he proves his fitness, Pellegrini would not need to consider deploying Javi Garcia in the back line, as he did in the closing stages against Newcastle.
The other option is 22-year-old Dedryck Boyata, who is hoping to revive his City career after loan spells at Bolton and FC Twente.
Pellegrini said: “We have many options. Nastasic has worked this week, we have Javi Garcia and we have Boyata. We will see who is the best.”
Nevertheless, the situation will heighten speculation Pellegrini may look to sign a new defender before the upcoming transfer deadline.
City have been linked with Real Madrid’s Pepe and Atletico Madrid’s Martin Demichelis, formerly of Pellegrini’s old club Malaga.
Speaking ahead of the game at Cardiff, Pellegrini said: “It is not dependent on what happens with Vincent Kompany.
“I told you last week that until the last day we will see what we can do, if we can improve our squad or not.
“But we have a very good squad so we will see what happens in the next days until September 2.”